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Johannes Brahms Clarinet Quintet, Op. 115 (1891)
5 Dec 2019
Karen Luttik, clarinet Letitia Quante, Violin Jane Kittredge,violin Paul Reynolds, viola John Dunlop, cello (Notes by David Gunn) “There is nothing like a clarinet,” so the apocryphal saying goes, “to coax a composer out of retirement.” And while it didn’t happen with Johannes Ockeghem, it did get the creative juices of another Johannes flowing again. In 1890, the same year that North Dakota State University was founded in Fargo, Johannes Brahms grumbled “Ich habe genug gearbeitet; jetzt lassen sich die jungen Leute übernehmen”, or, I’ve worked enough, for Pete’s sake; now let the young folks take over. But a year later, he heard the 35-year-old German clarinettist Richard Mühlfeld play Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet. Inspired, Brahms soon set to work on writing a Clarinet Quintet of his own. But he opted not to harvest the sprightly, happy-go-lucky, and dazzling nature of the B-flat instrument. Rather, he wrote for the A clarinet, which features a darker, more mysterious and chocolate-y

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